Olympic results have bottomed: Coates
18 December 2013
AOC: The President of the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) John Coates believes performances by Australia’s Olympic athletes have “bottomed” and results will improve as we get closer to the 2016 Rio Games.
The 2013 Benchmark study released by the AOC shows Australia is currently sitting on 34 medals and overall 7th position on the medal tally.
Australia recorded 35 medals in 2011 and 2012 and dropped one more this year. Three years out from Rio the study shows Australia is on 8 gold, 19 silver and 7 bronze.
“Clearly we have bottomed with 34 medals and after hovering around this mark for three years there are serious challenges ahead,” Coates said.
“Our intention is to convert many of those silver medals into gold in Rio," Coates said. “That can easily be achieved through our partnership with the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) and the Australian Sports Commission (ASC) through the Winning Edge Program”.
“What is particularly pleasing are the results from swimming with 12 medals, 3 gold and 9 silver. The new President, John Bertrand and his Team are determined to get their sport back on top and I am sure they will reap the rewards in Rio”.
Cycling also recorded a very good result with six medals, 2 gold, 2 silver and 2 bronze.
“Swimming and cycling have won the bulk of the medals and the other sports need to step up as we draw closer to Rio,” Chef de Mission Kitty Chiller said. “Hockey is rock solid with 2 silver medals (men and women) and we have high hopes sailing will continue their outstanding performances from London.
Sailing finished 2013 with 1 gold compared to 3 gold and 1 silver in London in 2012. “Sailing has set the bar high for Rio with their aim to surpass their London tally,” Chiller said. “We are hoping the two new sports in 2016, Rugby 7’s and golf will also be amongst the medals”.
The 2013 study indicates two medals for golf 1 gold and 1 bronze.
The goal of Winning Edge is to return Australia to the top five on the gold and overall medal tally in Rio.
“Working with the AIS and the ASC is key to our success in Rio. Through Winning Edge we will provide our athletes with the best possible preparation and we will start to see the results in the next two years” Chiller said.
Australia’s results have been in decline since the 2008 Beijing Olympics where we finished with 46 medals. By the 2012 London Games the total had slipped to 35 medals. This compares with 58 medals in Sydney 2000 and 50 medals in Athens in 2004.
The big improvers in 2013 are Brazil, the hosts in 2016. They have moved from 17 medals in London to 27. History shows the host nation enjoys a surge in success.
That was the case for Australia in 2000 and Great Britain in 2012 where they won 65 medals and finished third on the gold medal tally and fourth overall. At this point Team GB has dropped to 5th on the overall medal tally with 44 medals but can be expected to overcome the post-Games slump and rebound by the time Rio comes around.
Japan is another big improver moving from 7 gold in London 2012 to 10 in 2013. With Tokyo chosen to host the 2020 Games the Japanese Olympic Committee has already set an ambitious goal of winning between 70-80 medals and a 3rd place target overall for their home Games.
Currently, the USA heads the overall medal tally with 92 medals followed by Russia, 90, China, 67, Germany, 56, Great Britain, 44, France, 35, Australia, 34, Japan, 31 and Brazil 27.
“Like us, the Brazilians, the Japanese and the current top nations are unapologetic when it comes to striving for success on the world stage” Coates said.